20,500 including 3,500 standing
Address: 10414 Mc Kalla Pl, Austin, TX 78758
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: El Tree
Year Ground Opened: Expected Spring 2021
Home Kit: Green and Black
Away Kit: White and Green
The Q2 Stadium isn’t quite built yet and the team that will call it home, Austin FC, are yet to kick a ball in the MLS but it’s already attracting a fair bit of attention. The stadium itself, which is anticipated to cost near on £200m, consists of four stands allowing a maximum capacity of 20,500. The two stands positioned behind the goals are single tier with the side stands two-tiered; all four of them are tight to the pitch with a sharp incline to the back rows. Then, to finish the seating off, there are three low backed corners giving the stadium a close to fully connected feel; the one exception is the south east corner, which is left open.
The two-tiered West Stand has black bricked executive boxes positioned between the tiers; in here you’ll find a mix of plush bars for event hosting and smaller, well designed ‘at home feel’ areas where groups of fewer fans can gather together. Where the stands behind the goals are concerned you have two contrasting styles. One side is all seated whilst the other end is the ‘supporters’ section. This is an area designated for 3,500 standing only fans; behind them will be large screens for advertising and incident replays
One of the standout features of the ground is the open sided stands; these are created with the stadium roofing being held above the seats courtesy of steel poles. Rather than having corrugated iron backings like a lot of stadia, they have left this space open. This allows more light and air into the stadium. Finally, you have the silver roof, which holds a unique appearance. The four stands all have roofing that runs level around the pitch but the side stands then double back on themselves to sit above the end stands in almost a ‘taco shape’. This may sound odd but is visually striking from the outside. Inside the stadium, the roof comes a long way over the crowd, which adds to the atmosphere as the noise rattles back down to the field of play.
If you’re a fan who likes to enjoy a bite to eat or a beverage then the Q2 Stadium will have you well stocked for options. For starters, you’ve got the food and drink venues in or directly outside the stadium – these fall under the ownership of Austin FC. The main attraction is located behind the North Stand; you’ve got a mammoth club shop with a third floor ‘beer hall’ offering views across the pitch. This is available to home and away fans but we’d recommend booking tickets ahead. You’ve then got another three options of ‘lounge style bars’ inside the ground.
Outside the stadium there is a plethora of places to get your pre (or post) match fix. To the south of the stadium there are three breweries-come-bars that are within a one mile stroll of the Q2 and, to the north, there are two that are even closer. With regards to eateries, there are plenty of takeaway and sit-in choices all around the ground; you can take your pick from American, Mexican, Italian cuisine and more.
Given the Q2 Stadium is not yet built, no visiting fans are yet to experience the stadium. From the little information that has been trickled out into the mainstream we already know that Austin FC are keen to give themselves a mental boost when it comes to the positioning of the players tunnel. This is located in the south west corner meaning players will enter the pitch next to the ‘hardcore’ standing fans. The away seats are located diagonally opposite i.e. in the north east corner.
The positioning might not be perfect in the respect of ‘fan banter’ but it does mean the atmosphere should be more widespread rather than contained in one section of the stadium. The other big positive from an away fans’ perspective is the fact you’ll be in close proximity to the main entrance to the stadium; this will mean you’re very close to the main ‘beer hall’.
The easiest way of getting to the ground will likely be via train. Currently, the nearest Metro Rail stop is Kramer Station, which is approximately a 20 minute walk from the stadium. It’s not a bad walk though with the route taking you down Kramer Lane and past the Hopsquad and the Circle Brewery, which are two of the drinkers options we touched on earlier, on West Braker Lane. If you’re not into the slightly longer walks, don’t stress. There a plans for a new station immediately outside the ground where you shouldn’t even need to cross a road.
The other most common option for travel is via car. There will be a car park directly outside of the Q2 stadium but this won’t be enough to facilitate all those fans who wish to drive to the matches. Most of the other parking options are located north of the stadium, on the opposite side of Braker Lane; the closest is around a 10 minute walk. In terms of driving instructions, the main thing to note is that it’s highly likely that you will need to navigate the Mopac Expressway.
If you’d rather not deal with travelling on matchday, there are a few hotels in the immediate vicinity of the Q2 Stadium. The closest is Lone Star Court, which is just a 10 minute walk. It’s a four-star rated hotel complete with swimming pool and fire pits making it a great place to relax before or after a match; expect to pay in the region of $200 per night. A more budget friendly option is the Home2 Suites by Hilton. They’re located about twice as far away as Lone Star Court and offer a much more simplistic stay but at around $125 per night, you do save a fair whack.
To be confirmed ahead of debut season